Ontario legislators set to return to Queen’s Park with health reform on agenda


Published February 21, 2023 at 6:33 am

The Ontario legislature is set to resume sitting today after a two-month winter break that began in December.

The province is expected to introduce legislation containing heath reforms promised last month.

The legislation will include allowing private clinics to perform more surgical procedures and diagnostic tests among other changes designed to deal with massive backlogs.

The province says the next session will also see legislation on boosting skilled trades and mining critical minerals.

But Premier Doug Ford’s relationship with developers will hang over the new legislative session.

Ford and his housing minister have denied any wrongdoing after the province opened up the protected Greenbelt last fall to build homes.

Opposition parties have said they will push the government on the Greenbelt changes.

Ford has said he did nothing wrong when developers, who are longtime family friends, attended his daughter’s $150-per-ticket stag-and-doe, which is typically an event to raise money for an engaged couple.

The Office of the Integrity Commissioner of Ontario said based on information provided, Ford had no knowledge of gifts given to his daughter and son-in-law and there was no discussion of government business at the summer event.

Media reports cite sources as saying lobbying and government relations firms were asked to buy tickets.

New NDP Leader Marit Stiles said she is planning to file a complaint with the integrity commissioner over the event.

The integrity commissioner is investigating a different complaint from Stiles about the province and developers over what she calls “curious timing of recent purchases of Greenbelt land by powerful landowners with donor and political ties to the Ontario PC Party.”


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